Ludgate court action fails to block former director

Ludgate Communications has failed in an attempt to take out an injunction against former director of financial services Louise Hatch who announced she was leaving the agency in January (PR Week, 23 Jan).

Ludgate Communications has failed in an attempt to take out an

injunction against former director of financial services Louise Hatch

who announced she was leaving the agency in January (PR Week, 23

Jan).



The agency sought the injunction to stop Hatch working outside the

agency until a six-month notice period had elapsed and to prevent her

working with any Ludgate clients for a year. However, a High Court judge

ruled against the agency and ordered it to pay Hatch’s costs.



Although Hatch was handed a new contract on her promotion to director

level last July she refused to sign it because she disagreed over

certain terms. Instead it was found that she was bound by an old

contract with a three- month notice period and no restrictions on taking

clients.



Hatch has now launched her own agency called Penrose Financial. Fellow

Ludgate directors Gay Collins, Andrew Nicolls, and Shona Prendergast,

who announced they were leaving along with Hatch, are bound by six-month

notice periods. They are expected to join Hatch once this period has

expired.



Hatch expressed relief at last Thursday’s verdict but added: ’Why put me

through the misery of going to court? I felt like a criminal.’



Nick Fitzherbert, a director of Ludgate Communications, said: ’We’re

disappointed and quite surprised. We did all we could to protect

ourselves and have learnt that we can’t promote until people have signed

on the dotted line.’



Leader, p9.



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